Monday, September 22, 2014

The EEEWWW! Factor

Besides being downright fun, teaching youth girls was eye-opening. Nearly every Sunday, I left with just as much to think about as they did. But there was one Sunday when I was able to startle them into near silence. Any of you who've had experience with youth girls know what a feat that is! We were discussing modesty. I asked each girl to picture her favorite swim suit. No problem there. Then I asked each girl to picture her mother wearing that exact suit.

EEEWWW! followed by peals of laughter and then quiet. They couldn't find the words.

The point was that if you would be ashamed to see your mother wearing it, why would you wear it yourself? (In case you're curious, I've pretty much covered the topic of modesty: here, here, and here.)

It's only been the past few months that my daughter has stopped wrinkling her nose and saying EEEWWW! when she sees her dad kiss me or hears him give me a cheesy compliment.  (We may or may not have tried to provoke her.)

I've had more than a few laughs at the EEEWWW! response, but some posts I've seen on social media lately have made me want to express myself in the same fashion. I can't think of a more appropriate word.

Letting us know how sexy you think your husband is? EEEWWW! I believe it goes without saying that wives generally think their husbands are handsome, sweet, and loving.  I agree there are times when it's acceptable to praise our husbands publicly, but I wonder how many husbands even read what their wives are saying. Oftentimes, such posts come across as bragging rather than showing appreciation. Call me prudish, but I like to compliment my husband privately. I don't want to call another woman's attention him.

A selfie with duck lips and cleavage? EEEWWW! I'll be honest. I don't understand the whole duck lips phenomenon. When I was a kid, we put two Pringles potato chips in our mouths to form duck lips. It was fun for about 2.4 seconds, and certainly wasn't considered cute or sexy. Duck lips aside, selfies with seductive poses are quite common even in Christian circles. I often find myself wondering if it's a symptom of the lack of attention at home.

Sharing too much personal information? EEEWWW! I'll never forget my first real diary. It had a lock on it and I guarded the key with my life. I didn't want ANYONE to know my most secret thoughts. Today it seems that many people not only want the world to know their secret thoughts, but that they demand the attention. Screens have desensitized us. We easily type and post things we might think twice about saying aloud. We believe we are safe hiding behind the barriers of our computers and phones.

There's no accountability on the internet; we have carte blanche. If anyone questions us...well, they're just being intolerant. Yet the Apostle Paul cautions us to use our freedoms wisely.

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. (1 Cor. 6:12)

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. (1 Cor. 10:23-24)

Oh! how I want my social media presence to be helpful to me and to others! What's more, I am deliberately seeking to model social media discretion for my daughter. During a recent conversation I was telling her about some things I'd seen her friends post on Instagram. She replied, "I'm not on Instagram for a reason. I don't want to know everything that's going on." Don't think I take any credit for her resolve; it is purely the the Lord's grace.

In the eight years I've been blogging, I've had a continual inner dialogue regarding what I will and will not post. My guidelines have changed as my daughter has gotten older and as my focus has shifted to living quietly. I will continue to evaluate my participation in social media and the content of my posts. Before I hit publish, I'll ask myself these questions:

Would my grandmother  post this?

Would Abigail?

Would this post cause a teenage girl say EEEWWW!?

1 comment:

  1. Getting back on Facebook this week, this was a great reminder for me Melissa. Your diary made me laugh!! Mine didn't have a lock - I was so paranoid about my parents reading it that I wrote in codes and symbols that only I knew the meaning of. ha!